Quick Lunch: Vegan Tacos

You ever just don’t feel like cooking but you are so hungry you really don’t have a choice because nobody’s going to cook for you because let’s just be honest, you’re grown. Here I go adulting again. Well I’ve been on a semi vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free diet. Trying to get this body bikini ready! It’s been going pretty well. I’ve teetered once or twice, but I told myself this is not going to be strict. That way I don’t stress myself out. As I look in fridge, there were many options. I pulled out some spinach, mushrooms, tofu, and some corn tortillas. Looks like it’s going to be some sort of taco!

I started by draining and drying the tofu. Next I cut the tofu in cubes and tossed them in a mixture of seasoning and corn starch. In a skillet, I heated up some coconut oil. Once hot, I put the tofu cubes in the oil, and let them cook until golden brown. While the batches of tofu were cooking, I sautéed the spinach and mushrooms together with a little olive oil and sea salt. At the last minute, I decided it need some beets on to. I grabbed a beet, peeled and julienned it. Then I added a bit of apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper to it. Next I warmed up my corn tortillas and was ready to build this taco. Today’s throw together lunch was amazing! The flavors worked so well together and it’s quite pretty to look at too! I’m definitely making it again! What’s your go to quick lunch meal?

Advertisements

Celebrate National Pizza Day with ALLORA’s Chef Chris Maher’s Carbonara Recipe

Today is a most delicious day! A day loved by all. Well, at least by me! This day celebrates my most favorite food to eat. It’s National Pizza Day!! Yayyyy! I could eat pizza everyday. I’ve had some pretty amazing pizzas in my lifetime but I personally love making pizzas myself. It’s fairly easy to prepare and you’ll definitely pat yourself on the back when it’s all done.

ALLORA’s Executive Chef Chris Maher, was kind enough to share the recipe to one of ALLORA’s signature pizzas, the Carbonara. This mouthwatering pizza is made with pancetta, cracked pepper, mozzarella, Percorino Romano and farm eggs. Sounds amazing right?!? Well make you grocery list and head to the store. Tonight is pizza night!

“I’ve been making pizza, in one form or another, for more than half my life. I’m fascinated by the seemingly endless possibilities. The pizza itself, acts as a vehicle for us to really create something special.” – Executive Chef Chris Maher

ALLORA- Atlanta,Georgia
Photo by Heidi Geldhauser

 

CARBONARA PIZZA RECIPE:

(Yields 4 Pizzas)

Ingredients:

 

For the dough

4 cups “00” flour (if unavailable, all-purpose flour will work)

2 tsp sea salt

1.5 tsp instant dry yeast

1.5 cups water, room temperature

For the sauce

1 pint heavy cream

½ cup grated pecorino romano

1.5 Tbsp cracked black pepper

Kosher salt to taste

For the pizza

12oz fresh mozzarella

1/2lb pancetta, sliced thin

4 fresh farm eggs, room temperature

Preparation:

• Combine flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Mix to combine.

• Add water and mix to combine. Then, knead dough on low speed for 10 minutes. The mixture should come together into a unified mass that barely sticks to the bottom of the bowl.

• Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. It can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

• When ready to make pizza, transfer dough to a floured work surface. Divide dough into four even sections.

• Coat four small containers or bowls with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil.

• With floured hands, form each section into a ball. Place one dough ball into each coated container or bowl. Lightly spray the top of each dough ball with nonstick cooking spray or coat with olive oil.

• Cover each container or bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Each dough ball should double in volume.

• To make the Sauce, simply mix all ingredients together.

• Heat a pizza stone in the oven at 450° F

Assemble the Pizzas:

• On a well-floured surface, stretch out each ball into a 10-inch circle. Use a floured rolling pin if you need it. Don’t worry about the dough being a perfect circle!

• Place one dough ball onto a lightly-floured pizza peel, shake gently to ensure that the dough is not sticking.

• Spread about 1/4 of the sauce over the dough, leaving about a 1/2-inch edge unsauced.

• Top the sauce with a quarter of the mozzarella slices, and prosciutto. Crack an egg right in the center of the pizza.

• Transfer pizza from peel to the hot stone and bake about 5 to 7 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crust is charred in places.

• Remove from the oven and top with fresh cracked pepper.

• Slice and enjoy!

ALLORA is located in the TWELVE Hotel Midtown at 361 17th Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30363. For more information call 404.961.7370 or visit www.alloraatl.com. Stay connected online via Twitter and Instagram @alloraatl and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/alloraatl.com

5 Brilliant Ways to Use Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup is such a wonderful thing. It’s delicious in every way. Did you know maple syrup has some pretty amazing health benefits as well? It contains numerous antioxidants, fights anti-inflammatory disease, and is a healthier alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Oh yeah! Let’s just pour a little more maple syrup on our pancakes! But why should pancakes get all the fun?? Go to the store and pick up a bottle of maple syrup, then check out the delicious maple syrup featured recipes below.

For these recipes the awesome folks at Baird Farm sent me a bottle of Maple Syrup to use. This Vermont farm has been maple sugaring for four generations.
“Every spring [they] boil down sap from thousands of maple trees which grow on the mountains above [their] sugarhouse. The result, amazing pure maple syrup for all to enjoy. For more information about Blaird Farm and how to purchase a bottle of maple syrup, visit http://www.bairdfarm.com

1. Put it on bacon. I mean let’s just start this list off right!

The Queen’s Maple Bacon

Preheat 350

10 slices thick turkey bacon

1/2 cup Maple Syrup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp cracked pepper

Spray cast iron skillet with non-stick spray.

Combine maple syrup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and cracked pepper in a bowl.

Place bacon strips into mix and let set for 5 minutes.

Take bacon out on at a time allowing the excess goodness to drop off.

Place each one in skillet.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

When done, allow bacon to cool.

2. Add it to a cocktail. Maple Syrup is wonderful in a Old Fashioned. I think I need to make one right now.

Maple Old Fashioned

Makes 1

1 tsp maple syrup

2 oz bourbon

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Orange peel for garnish

Mix maple syrup, bourbon, and bitters in a glass.

Add large ice cube and garnish with orange peel.

3. Add it to your coffee. Ever had a Maple Latte? Devine!

Maple Latte

Make 1

1 cup fresh brewed espresso

1 tbsp maple syrup

Add maple syrup to cup of espresso.

Spoon in steamed milk.

4. A Maple Apple Galette will give you your entire life. Run to the store and get a bag of apples right now!

Apple Maple Gallete

4 servings

Preheat 375

1 ready made rolled pie crust

5 medium apples

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp flour

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp butter

Juice of a half lemon

Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/4 inch pieces and drizzle with lemon juice.

Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and flour in a large bowl.

Toss apples in spice mixture.

Roll out pie crust.

Arrange apples in a circle in the center of the pie crust. Fill center with a few chopped up apples.

Sprinkle apples with pecans and pour maple syrup even over apples.

Fold edge of crust over apples, rotating to overlap crust onto itself.

Brush crust with melted butter.

Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

5. Why not chop up The Queen’s Bacon and add it to more delicious maple syrup, then pour it over a bowl of freshly popped popcorn? I vote yes! Let do it!

Maple Bacon Popcorn

5 cups popped popcorn

1/2 cup Queen’s Bacon, chopped (recipe above)

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

Put popcorn into a bowl.

Combine maple syrup and butter in a glass bowl and microwave until butter melts.

Add bacon to mixture and drizzle over popcorn.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Thanks Baird Farm for the Maple Syrup! Happy Maple Syrup Day!

www.bairdfarm.com

*I was given maple syrup complimentary. As always, all opinions are that of my own.

Fall Cocktails: Autumn Sparkler with Purity Vodka 

We’re a few weeks into Fall and soon the cooler temperatures will be rolling in. With the color changing of the leaves, fall is the most beautiful season. It’s also the best time to go apple picking. The best apple ciders are found right at the apple orchards. On my last visit to Erie Apple Orchards, I picked up a half bushel of a variety of apples and a gallon of apple cider. Now apple cider is amazing on its own, but it’s also tasty with a bit of spirits added to it. I’ve been experimenting with different flavors and have come up with a pretty tasty cocktail. It’s definitely fall in a glass. 

For this cocktail, I’m using Purity Vodka. On its own, it’s very tasty.  Purity Vodka is the ultimate vodka, being named 2016’s Vodka of the Year. “Purity Vodka is made exclusively from natural ingredients including the very finest organic winter wheat and malted barley and is certified organic in Europe and the US.” This Vodka was amazing with practically every flavor combination I tested it with because of how clean and smooth it is. Vodka is pretty awesome with the flavors of fall. Try my fall inspired cocktail below! What fall cocktails have you been enjoying this season?


Autumn Sparkler

2 oz Purity Vodka

2 oz Pumpkin Spice Juice (R.W. Knudsen)

1 oz apple cider

Juice of 1/4 lemon

Ginger Beer

Combine ingredients in a chilled glass and top with ginger beer.
Sip & Enjoy Responsibly! 

* I recieved compensation for my review and use of Purity Vodka. As always, all opinions are that of my own.

Watermelon with Cotija Cheese & Balsamic Drizzle

One of my favorite fruits to enjoy during the summer is Watermelon. It’s sweet, refreshing, and packed full of essential nutrients. Today in celebration of National Watermelon Day, I decided to make a watermelon salad. So I hopped on Pinterest to find a recipe. Most recipes I found called for Feta Cheese. I didn’t have any on hand and I wasn’t feeling going to the grocery store either, so I scratched that. Then I remembered I had some cotija cheese left from the Mexican street corn I made last week. That may work! I cut a piece of watermelon that I just picked up from the farmers market yesterday and sprinkled it with the cheese and added a few drops of balsamic glaze. We had a winner! So good!! It’s really the easiest way to fancy up a plate of watermelon ever! 


Watermelon with Cotija Cheese and Balsamic Glaze

Cut and cube desired amount of watermelon.

Top with desired amount of Cotija Cheese

Drizzle with desired amount of balsamic drizzle.

Yes, it’s really that easy.

40 Tequila Cocktails You Should Be Sipping On Right Now! 

“Drinking tequila is more about the journey than the destination”. -Rainbow Rowell

Tequila originated in the city of Tequila in the 16th century. It is a regionally specific distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant. Since agave grows differently depending on the region, tequila typically varies in flavor. You’ll notice a sweeter aroma and taste from blue agave grown in the highlands Los Altos region. If you prefer a more herbaceous flavor profile, look for agaves harvested in the lowlands.

There are two main types of tequila, 100% Agave and Tequila Mixtos. Mixtos must contain no less than 51% agave with various sugars and additives making up the remaining 49%. From these two categories Tequila is typically bottled into one of five categories:

Silver – a white spirit, unaged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation.

Gold – an unaged silver Tequila that may be flavored with caramel coloring, oak extract, glycerin, or sugar based syrup.

Reposado – Tequila aged at least two months in oak barrels.

Añejo – Tequila aged for at least one year in small oak barrels.

Extra Añejo – Tequila aged at least three years in oak barrels.

Tequila is one of my favorite spirits to get creative with because of how versatile it is. I’ve asked a few food blogger friends to share their favorite tequila based cocktail recipes. I’m going to warn you, they are amazing! You should probably go get a bottle of Tequila right now!

1. Spicy Cucumber Kiwi Margarita

Garlic & Zest

2.The Strawberry Paloma

The Gastronom

3. Fresh Grapefruit Margarita

The Toasty Kitchen

4.  Blood Orange Margarita

Mommy’s Home Cooking

5.   Hibiscus Paloma Cocktail

Honey and Birch

6.  Apple Cider Margaritas

A Nerd Cooks

7.  Sparkling Pineapple Coconut Margaritas

I am a honey bee

8.  Honey Sage Margarita 

Shana Was Here

9.  Frozen Palomas

Blender Happy

10.  Frozen Strawberry Mango Margarita

Girl Heart Food

11.  Where the Sea Meets the Sky

The Gastronom

12.  Tequila Sunrise Slushies

Honey and Birch

13.  Cherry Lime Margarita 

We Are Not Martha

14.  Grilled Watermelon Frozen Margaritas

15.  The Honey Mango Strawberry Margarita

Tasted and See

16.  Blackberry Lime Margarita

Nourish and Fête

17.  Salsa Sunset: A Savory Margarit

18.  Beergarita

19.  Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita

Isabel Eats

20.  The JH Hibiscus Margarita 

Little Sugar Snaps

21.  Blueberry Basil Margarita 

Supergolden Bakes

22.  Pomegranate Margarita 

Lemon Blossoms

23.  Spicy Jalapeño Margarita 

Rosemary & Rye

24.  Lemon-Lime Magic Margarita 

The Flavor Bender

25.  Elderflower Margarita

Home & Plate

26.  Tamarind Ginger Margarita

27.  Lavender Honey Margarita

Flippin’ Delicious

28.  Grapefruit Habenero Margarita

Platings and Parings

29.  Hot and Bubbly Margarita

Mid-Life Croissant

30.  Cantaloupe Margarita 

One Delightful Life

31.  Cucumber Jalapeño Cilantro Margarita 

I’m Bored Let’s Go

32.  Frozen Raspberry Watermelon Margaritas

The Home Cook’s Kitchen

33.  Mango Margarita (No Sugar Added)

Downshiftology

34.  Spicy Cucumber Mint Margarita 

Tasting Page

35.  Fresh Cranberry Margaritas

Just a Little Bit of Bacon

36.  Spicy Paloma Cocktail

Chew Street

37.  Cantaloupe Margaritas 

Urban Bliss Life

38.  Classic Agave Margarita

Oh She Swooned

38.  Blood Orange Margarita 

The Rising Spoon

39.  Mango Jalapeño Margarita-3 Minute Drink

Easy Cooking with Molly

40.  Grapefruit Margarita 

A Gouda Life

Need more inspiration?? Here’s 15 MORE to check out!!

The Jagerita – Nomageddon

Fresh Strawberry Margarita – Taste and See

Coffee and Donut Patrón XO Café Drink – Hustle. Mom. Repeat

Grilled Pineapple and Peach Silver Tequila Cocktail – One Delightful Life

How to Make the Best Tequila Sunrise Cocktail – Daily Appetite

An Exotic Tropical Margarita – Beyond Mere Sustenance

Frozen Strawberry  Rhubarb Margarita – Champane Taste

Strawberry Jam Margarita – Supergolden Bakes

Sugar Sunset Margarita – Buy This Cook That

Tropical Margarita – Simply Vegetarian 777

Easy Beergaritas – Hello Little Home

Jack’s Ultimate Frozen Margarita – Grits and Pinecones

Silver Cadillac Margarita – Vegan in the Freezer

Grilled Pineapple Jalapeño Margarita – Plating and Pairings

Skinny Coconut Margarita – What the Fork

Summer Cocktails: Strawberry Jalapeño Daiquiri 

Looking for something sweet with a little kick? I invite you to join me in this most fantastic situation. I’m currently on the porch, sipping a very delicious Strawberry Jalapeño Daiquiri. You should be too!

Strawberry Jalapeño Daiquiri   

Makes 1

5 strawberries 

3 slices of Jalapeño 

Juice of a 1/4 lime

2 oz white rum

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup ice
Throw everything into the blender.

Purée 

Pour into glass.

Garnish with strawberry and Jalapeño slice.

Proceed to porch.

Drink Responsibly 
#NationalDaiquiriDay